With the 2021 Australian Open culminating this weekend, Indian tennis star Sanya Mirza has tipped Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic to claim the women’s and men’s singles titles in Melbourne, respectively.
While 3-time Gand Slam winner Osaka will face unprepared Jennifer Brady in the final on Saturday, ATP No. 1 Djokovic will face Daniel Medvedev in form at the iconic Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.
Sanya said she expects Serena Williams to win the title, but Osaka is a much better player now, having tried three times in the Grand Slam, while giving Djokovic the lead in the men’s fight.
“My favorite was Serena, but now it’s Osaka. She has three attempts to win three helmets, so she will have an advantage over (American) Jennifer Brady. And among men, Novak (Djokovic) has won this title so many times that I’m sure he will bring his game “A” to the final, “Sanya was quoted as saying by Mid-Day.
The 34-year-old mother also spared some thoughts of the fragile Serena Williams, who broke after failing to win her record 24th major once again until she was knocked out of Osaka in the semi-finals in straight sets.
Sania thinks it’s commendable to see what Serena has achieved since becoming a mother, and she shared her experience of what a mother faces as she tries to balance her personal and professional life.
“Return to the game [post-motherhood] is one of the hardest things in life and that’s why Serena deserves so much credit, not just to come back, but to find that motivation to fight. It is extremely difficult, after giving so much, to go there and make that effort, ”she said.
Sania added: “You are a young mother, you have a small child and there are many needs for children, especially when they are very young. Mothers are the main caregivers for the first few years of their lives. That [comeback to tennis post-motherhood] is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.
“I worked for a whole year and a half (after the birth of the child). First I had to lose weight, then I had to try to find time to train in a certain way to get back to the professional level. It takes a lot when you are also a full-time mother.
“The child does not understand what you are doing, but the fact is that we (mothers) should also be allowed to follow our dreams like everyone else.”
Return to the game [post-motherhood] is one of the hardest things in life and that’s why Serena deserves so much credit, not just to come back, but to find that motivation to fight. It is extremely difficult, after giving so much, to still go there and make that effort. “